Author: Thomas Enger
Review: Pierced is the second book in the fantastic Henning Juul mystery series (Burned being the first). Juul is a divorced and scarred investigative journalist for an online Norwegian news magazine. He received his numerous disfiguring scars in a fire that not only burned his apartment, but took the life of his young son. Even though he has recovered enough to work, his mind is still trapped in the burning apartment trying to figure out what happened. The police have written it off as a mistake, but in his heart he knows it wasn’t. The fire was deliberate.
Juul receives a phone call from prison; I can tell you what happened to your son if you prove my innocence. Famous gossip page denizen had been convicted under flimsy evidence and wants out of prison. Was it petty jealousies, or was it his past life as an infamous gang enforcer? A bargain is struck and Juul begins sticking his nose where it definitely not wanted.
What I love about Thomas Enger’s book is it does what all great procedural investigative novels do. It turns over the evidence one clue at a time and slowly builds an intricate web of relationships and events that lead you to a successful conclusion. A literary plinko game following the evidence regardless where it leads you. It proves that when it comes to actual humans and their foibles, Occam’s razor is a garbage theory for explaining behavior. Nothing is ever simple or straightforward.
Layered into the plot is a little more of the ongoing mystery of Juul that is revealed through several plot twists and revelations keeping the reader always off guard. I love reaching the last pages of a mystery not quite sure who did it out of the suspects, but also not feeling cheated when the true culprit has been revealed. Thomas Enger manages this like a master of the genre.
Publisher: Expected publication: October 2nd 2012 by Atria Books (first published January 1st 2012)
Quick Review: 4 Stars out of 5.
Where Did I Get the Book: Sent by the publisher for review.
Synopsis: The acclaimed author of Burned is back with more heart-stopping suspense in a gritty and thrilling sequel that pits Norwegian crime reporter Henning Juul against an international crime ring.
Oslo’s top investigative crime reporter Henning Juul is still haunted by the death of his son. Every time he looks in the mirror, he sees the scars from the horrible fire that killed his six-year-old boy. So when he receives a message from convicted murderer Tore Pulli, he can’t stop himself from following up: “If you find out who set me up, I’ll tell you what happened the day your son died.”
Pierced follows Henning Juul to Tore Pulli’s prison cell, where the felon sends the reporter on a quest to find the real killer behind his false conviction. Juul knows the murders pinned to Pulli don’t bear his signature, but when Pulli is found dead of an apparent suicide, Juul begins to realize there’s much more at stake. As he digs deeper, he strikes up a fragile partnership with Iver Gundersen, a journalist now living with Juul’s ex-wife. Together, the two men rush headlong into a gangland power struggle, delving into an impenetrable world. Uncovering more questions than answers, Juul soon comes to understand that he has to find not one, but several killers—money-hungry men more dangerous than any he has encountered before—if he ever wants to solve the mystery of his son’s death.
Author Biography: Thomas Enger was born in Oslo in 1973, but grew up in Jessheim. He has an education in journalism, and has also studied sports and history. He worked at the Norwegian online newspaper Nettavisen for nine years.
He has composed music and written books since the age of 18. He is also working on a musical.
Enger's first book, Skinndød, was published in 2010. It is the first book in a series of at least six featuring crime journalist Henning Juul. The second installment, Fantomsmerte, was released in the fall of 2011; Blodtåke, the third book, is scheduled for a 2012 release.